Monthly Archives: March 2018

Perception and Preparation Create Performance

Whether you are in sales, guiding employees or dealing with upset customers, perception and preparation will determine the outcome of the situation you are facing.


No matter how we try to deliver information, how it is received and perceived can have all the impact in the world. Recently, I watched an overwhelmed waitress take a series of food orders when someone made a special request that was going to require extra work on her part. Her immediate response was, “Well, that’s just not going to happen.”

Everyone who heard her comment immediately forgot how overwhelmed she was and saw her in a very negative light.

When working with people you must create the perception that you are interested in more than just what you want. If the employee, prospect, or customer believe you are only interested in what you want, they will shut you off and immediately go negative.

How can you do your best to control that perception? Preparation.

Proper preparation gives you information on what the prospect, employee, or upset customer is looking for.

Do your research. Never walk into a sales call cold. Never meet an upset customer without knowing exactly the details of the situation that upset them. When working with employees, know how to tap into their motivation and truly listen to what they are telling you.

Once people believe you have their best interests at heart, and you fully understand where they are coming from, the value you will gain from this is significant.

The other piece of preparation that is important is preparing yourself for battle. Dealing with the pubic is no doubt the hardest job in the world. If you are in a service position (which includes every manager with employees to serve), you need to prepare yourself for your day and what may come your way. Most damage in relationships comes from knee-jerk emotional response, usually, when unprepared to face what just happened.

In today’s pace of business, most people aren’t taking the time to make these steps of preparation. Because preparation is in such short supply, those who are fully prepared to respond can create the proper perception and annihilate the competition.

Do your customer, employees and prospects perceive that you care? Take a hard look at your preparation because proper preparation will create the preferred perception to create a powerful performance.

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3 Marketing Mistakes that Kill Small Businesses

Small business owners usually focus on one of three areas of the business: addressing employee issues that can create problems and reduce service effectiveness, enjoying the passion for the task of creating their products, and making sure cash flow is in good shape. 

Marketing for the small business owner is frequently tossed together with what monies they have left over after everything else has been taken care of. Of all businesses, small businesses have to be more savvy about using their marketing dollars than any other sized business.

Here are three small business marketing mistakes that will kill a small business and exhaust a small business owner.

Failing to have a plan in place to get new business

Small businesses need to have a specific marketing budget and annual plan for promoting products and creating opportunities to purchase those products. Attracting new business, regardless of how many loyal customers you have, is critical to keeping the customer pipeline flowing to build your revenue and customer base. Marketing brings people in. The quality of the service, product and price will keep them coming back.

When designing your marketing plan, keep in mind when high season is for your business, when people are most interested in your products. Consider whether you are building brand recognition, promoting a specific product or generally educating your community on what you have to offer. A properly planned marketing program will be a great investment and not a dreaded expense.

Not nurturing the new customers/clients they do get

Let’s say your marketing plan is working. In fact, you have seen a significant increase in new customers coming through your doors. That is great! Be careful not to fall into the trap of moving all your marketing focus to what’s working and forget how to keep those you do attract.

Marketing to retain customers and turn them into a foundation of loyal customers (and free salespeople as they tell everyone else how great your products are) is every bit as important as getting people in the door for the first time.

Retention marketing comes in the form of loyalty programs, insider specials, freebies, and individual recognition. Treating your customers as the best thing to ever happen to your business (they are), and they will keep coming back to your business.

Marketing as an afterthought

Many of my clients struggle with social media marketing. Older owners find it distracting to deal with, so they delegate it to younger people who aren’t as committed as the owners to crafting the right message.

Those who properly use social media messaging and boosted posts are seeing real value in their marketing dollars invested. Don’t let the many facets of marketing burden you. A solid workable plan while understanding how marketing best fits your small business will have great returns and will be an integral part of feeding your bottom line results. If marketing is simply an expense, you are doing it wrong.

Marketing should always be an investment with solid returns for your business.

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